1 “Therefore, we must fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also did; but the word they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united with those who listened with faith. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
‘As I swore in My anger,
They certainly shall not enter My rest,’
although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’; 5 and again in this passage, ‘They certainly shall not enter My rest.’ 6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who previously had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 He again sets a certain day, ‘Today,’ saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
‘Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.’”
Come short of it: Hebrews is addressing the church in Jerusalem. In this context, there was a mixed group of people. Some had believed in Jesus and consequently crossed the bridge from the Old Covenant into the New Covenant. However, the author apparently wanted to make sure that there were no unbelievers in the church.
Not united with those who listened with faith: The Hebrews had heard the Gospel message just as they had heard the story of the desert wanderings. But hearing is not enough. To be saved, one must have faith or trust in what they heard. Just as those in the desert did not have faith in God and consequently perished, so those who stay on the fence about Jesus and the New Covenant will perish eternally without faith.
For we who have believed enter that rest: All who respond to the Gospel enter into the spiritual rest of God. Christianity is about ceasing from works for salvation. In the context of Hebrews, this meant moving on from Old Covenant works of the law to trusting in Jesus. The author of Hebrews, therefore, is arguing for a complete paradigm change.